73. Telegram From the Embassy in Germany to the Department of State 0
I then learned that Von Brentano was leaving at three p.m. for party conference in Wiesbaden, thence for London for WEU meeting, and when nothing had been heard from Seydoux at one o’clock I decided to see Minister on personal basis.
In response my query whether decision reached on Steering Committee, Von Brentano said Chancellor, after first refusing to consider dissolution, had finally agreed most reluctantly to go along with Western proposal. Brentano said he had pointed out to Adenauer that basis of collaboration with US was mutual trust, rather than form of consultation, that US could be relied upon to continue close working relations with FRG on summit preparations, and that Ger participation could continue on informal basis provided this concession made to form. Adenauer, he said, was apprehensive, not only re participation, but also re Ger public opinion.
In conclusion, Brentano said FRG was making this further sacrifice in order eliminate difficulties in NATO. But this was limit to which they could go and he trusted no further concessions would be asked of them.
Upon my return to Emb, Seydoux came to tell me he had finally been told by Paris he could not “associate himself” with representations at ambassadorial level but that he could send Embassy officer to FonOff “today or perhaps tomorrow” to inquire re Ger decision.[Page 187]
I told Seydoux of my talk with Brentano, pointing out that I had made no representations but had merely inquired re Ger views. I have also informed Steel.3
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 374.800/2–260. Secret; Priority. Repeated priority to Paris and London.↩
- Dated January 30, telegram 1625 to Bonn informed the Embassy that if the question of the dissolution of the Steering Committee were not raised at the North Atlantic Council meeting on February 1, then the three Ambassadors at Bonn should raise the issue with Brentano on Tuesday. (Ibid., 374.800/1–2960)↩
- Dated February 1, this telegram reported that no word had been received from the West Germans by 8 p.m. on February 1. (Ibid., 396.1–PA/2–160)↩
In a subsequent telegram on February 2, Dowling reported that Brentano had made it clear that the Chancellor was not prepared to yield on German participation in a Foreign Ministers meeting in April or on a Western summit in May. Brentano also indicated that Adenauer was “dismayed and even angered” by the lack of tripartite support for the Federal Republic on this issue. (Telegram 1432 from Bonn; ibid., 374.800/2–260)
On February 3, Burgess reported that German NATO Permanent Representative Gebhardt von Walther had also reported Federal Republic agreement to the dissolution of the Steering Committee with the same proviso, that consultations would be as full as possible, and specifically that the subject of disarmament would be included. (Polto 1505 from Paris, repeated to Bonn as Polto 288; ibid., 375.5/2–360)↩